Technologic Systems continues to
improve its embedded Linux software solutions
for the ARM products. The new TS-7400
System-on-Module (SoM) computer is able
to boot super fast to a Linux shell prompt
in 1.10 seconds. This is extreme speed
for applications that need a fast system
response right after power on, enabling
Linux to be used as the OS of choice
for these applications.
When used in combination with the Linux “bootload” program
developed by Technologic Systems, the
fast bootup solution turns into a powerful,
small, reliable and fast bootloader,
100% Linux-based and capable of loading
other Linux kernels, other Operating
Systems, or other customer applications.
How It Works
The TS-7400 SoM boots to Linux from
NAND flash using the proprietary TS-FLASHBOOT bootup firmware residing in
ROM memory. It can also boot from an
SD card, through the TS-SDBOOT firmware.
These small pieces of software do the
very basic hardware initialization and
provide “load from flash” mechanisms.
The TS-7400 Ultra-Fast bootup solution
was optimized for speed and includes
kernel, initrd, and filesystem (Busybox)
tweaks. The bootstrap setup is very similar
to the 1.69s Fast Bootup for TS-7300,
but is almost 30% faster. In addition, the
hardware accelerated NAND flash controller
is a unique feature implemented in the
on-board CPLD that provides hardware
ECC, allowing the system to skip software
ECC during startup and enabling bootup
to a Linux shell prompt in 1.1 seconds.
Since the TS-7400 actually boots to an
initrd with a read-only mounted filesystem,
it is possible to have something other
than a shell prompt running after bootup
by editing the /linuxrc shell script
on the initrd.
For further information, please refer
to the TS-7400 manual.
How To Use It
The TS-7400 board has Linux installed
by default on on-board flash. Upon bootup,
the board will boot within 1.1 seconds
to a Linux prompt on UART #0 (/dev/ttyAM0).
The default fastboot shell has available
several standard Linux commands accommodated
by the "busybox" program. Technologic
Systems has made several modifications
to the busybox source code to keep bootup
as fast and simple as possible. The modified
busybox source code is available to Technologic
Systems' customers at:
Upon bootup, you should see out of
your serial port:
>> TS-FLASHBOOT - built Sep
>> Copyright (c) 2006, Technologic Systems
Finished booting in 1.10 seconds
Type 'tshelp' for help
At this point, if you type 'exit' from
the serial shell, the TS-7400 will then
attempt a full Debian Linux bootup from
the SD card on partition #3. Should you
wish to automatically bypass the fastboot
and proceed directly into starting the
SD card version of Linux, you can do
so with the following command issued
to the fastboot shell:
$ ln -sf /linuxrc-sdroot /linuxrc;
For the on-board flash the command
$ ln -sf /linuxrc-mtdroot /linuxrc;
For the USB flash dongle or USB
$ ln -sf /linuxrc-usbroot /linuxrc;
To get back to the fastboot shell,
you can do so by placing the file "/fastboot" in
the root directory of the filesystem.
To learn how to install the fastboot solution for other boards, visit our general Linux Fastboot page.
For further information, contact
a Technologic Systems engineer.